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Health officials warn of vaccination-related scams

New scams related to COVID-19 vaccinations are spreading across the nation. Missouri health officials are joining other states in listing precautions.

“Health departments. are not going to be asking people for their credit card numbers or personal information of that nature,” Larry Jones, executive director of the Missouri Center for Public Health Excellence stated. “They are going to be wanting to know your name, probably a telephone or an email to be able to get back with you. But they are not going to be asking you for financial information.”

The Better Business Bureau offers these tips.

  • Know your region’s plan for rolling out the vaccine. Each state has its own process for dispensing the vaccine. Check with your local government or health department. Understanding the process in your area and how you can expect to be contacted will help you spot a scam.
  • Scammers are creative, so be skeptical of anything that seems too good — or crazy — to be true. Double check any information about the vaccine with official news sources, and be aware that none of the vaccines currently can be purchased online or in stores.
  • Check with your doctor: If you want a vaccine early, reach out to your health-care provider about your options. If you don’t have a primary care physician, check out the official website of your local health department for more information.
  • Guard your government-issued numbers. Never offer your Medicare ID number, Social Security number, health plan information or banking information to anyone you don’t know or trust.
  • Think the link may be real? Double check the URL. Scammers often buy official-looking URL domains to use in their cons. Be careful to ensure that the link destination is really what it claims to be. If the message claims to be from the local government, make sure the URL ends in .gov (for the United States). When in doubt, perform a separate Internet search for the website or call the source directly.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice